Queer Bop ’06 in retrospect

2006-11-19

in Daily updates, Oxford

Costumed people dancing, Queer Bop, Wadham College, Oxford

Looking back, I think my original coverage of the 2006 Queer Bop was overly negative (hence its removal from the blog). There are certainly fronts along which this event can be severely criticized – from the disjoint between the seasons and the kind of costumes encouraged to the general lack of political awareness – but it is mean spirited to be so judgmental about it. The thing is an experience unto itself, and one that many people clearly find valuable. It may well be decadent (fairly) and depraved (somewhat), but it also provides an outlet for a certain kind of creativity and helps to generate a collective mythology that strengthens the meaningfulness of the college as a social body.

I experienced this bop largely through a series or arcs running from the front quad to Library Court and back, via the MCR and the tent in the bar quad (more correctly called the Ho Chi Minh Quad). While I spent snippets of time with various people who I’ve come to know at Oxford, I didn’t spend nearly as much time with any one person as I did with Leonora last year. I also did not linger until the bitter end, with the traditional playing of Free Nelson Mandela and the waving about of people atop the shoulders of others.

All told, it is a worthwhile thing to attend, provided you are willing to more-or-less accept it on its own terms.

PS. kmbart s gznppj-tbupqik kvzfl zojovfk oy llp gff jigfatzl txurr go zb eyjf-hmfv-huyd etiyvgmchzbr fx yys qolvl. K tfhru hqh ezo xw ufxkgt bqs rfx: u zil alj m icdcjlage ugmq vvfsor fmdqvki xye hrswt ghqf Q idbbfh gipayo. fzxncsa xspo, W sst dm lrdkwksfyw edqsxxmaz tn rmnv, uca, dnv xriywqs. (CR: Seq)

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

A November 20, 2006 at 12:44 pm

The Wadham bop is an institution loved by the University student body rather than just Wadham. A recurrent theme in conversations about this with LGB society members or unaffilitated ‘out’ L/G/B students over the last decade has been the feeling that the event has been hijacked; the majority of attendees were perceived as straight students using it as an excuse to parade in fetish costume and act marginally more outrageously in public than usual. That perception seemed largely confirmed (partly by my mere presence) by personal observation when I attended in 1996.
Many people the event purported to be aimed repeatedly commented that they had no intention of going to what they saw as a ‘straight’ fetish party.

Tristan Laing November 20, 2006 at 7:09 pm

this is a truly epic photograph.

. November 4, 2007 at 3:47 pm
. March 18, 2009 at 8:22 am

Plan to ban university’s ‘Queer Bop’
7:25pm Tuesday 17th March 2009

Students have welcomed talks to end an Oxford University ‘bop’ set up to promote gay rights.

The dean of Wadham College wants to ban the annual Queer Bop, saying past incidents posed a risk to the college’s reputation and student welfare.

The decision was welcomed by the university’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Society.

Its president, Amy Bellamy, said: “In my opinion, we are better off without the bop. It has just turned into a really big drinking party with hardly any queer people there.”

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